A thirty one-year old specialist furniture business has taken on private equity backing as it looks to grow through organic and acquisitive means.
NVM Private Equity has backed a £5.5 million management buy-out (MBO) of Kirton Group through a deal which sees the company’s founder, and chairman, exit.
Suffolk-based Kirton, which was founded by Martin Battye in 1982, manufactures specialist seating and other products for the elderly and disabled.
The MBO is been led by managing director Beverly Lawrence and comes three years after Kirton acquired AJ Way to boost its presence in the healthcare market. Kirton currently has customers including Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, private care homes and the homecare market.
Lawrence comments, ‘The legacy that has been built by Martin will be nurtured by the management team and we look forward to taking our wonderful products to new markets.
‘We have been delighted by NVM’s insight into what we do and from our very fist meeting they spoke enthusiastically about how “we” could grow and develop.’
With Battye leaving the business, Mike Lord has been appointed to the role of chairman. Having previously been CEO at Minivator, Kirton says that Lord brings ‘direct knowledge’ of the assisted living sector in the UK.
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David Rolfe, investment director at NVM Private Equity and new board member at Kirton, adds, ‘Design, innovation and strong relationships are at the heart of Kirton’s business.
‘They are well-respected in the healthcare industry and their products continually evolve – allowing them to stay ahead of the market.’
For NVM Private Equity, the Kirton transaction is the second MBO it has been involved with during June. Earlier in the month the investment firm supported the £3 million buy-out of biological waste treatment company Cleveland Biotech.
Other dealmaking during 2013 has seen NVM Private Equity exit its stakes in manufacturing business IG Doors, as well as long-standing investment Interlube Systems.